When trying to think about ASO vs SEO, one may explain it very well by simply saying ASO is for apps while SEO is for the web. While this straightforward explanation gives us a general idea of the difference between ASO and SEO, there are actually a lot of things to learn.

That’s why, in this post, let us take a look at not just the differences, but also the similarities of ASO and SEO. By doing so, you’ll have a better idea of how to improve your app’s success in the ever highly competitive world of the Internet.

ASO vs SEO: Definition

ASO stands for App Store Optimization. It basically refers to the process of improving the visibility of an app in the app store. On the other hand, SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. SEO is the process of increasing the visibility of websites in search engine return pages (SERPs).

In simplest terms, the main difference between ASO and SEO is that ASO is for app stores while SEO is for websites. Usually, this is the explanation most people use. SEO is no doubt a more popular term. That’s why people would just tell you that ASO is the “mobile SEO” or the “SEO for apps.”

ASO vs SEO: Goal

ASO goals:
Increase visibility in app store search results
Increase visibility when users explore apps
Drive more traffic to an app store page
Increase download rate
Reduce the cost of acquiring new users

SEO goals:
Increase visibility in search engines
Drive more traffic to a web page
Grow business online

ASO vs SEO: Ranking factors

Ranking factors affect how search engines index a particular website or app. Thus, as part of understanding how ASO vs SEO work, you need to know the different ranking factors. If you get familiar with these factors, you have a better way of figuring out how to improve your ASO and SEO process.

For ASO, here are some of the ranking factors:

Subtitle (App Store) and Short Description (Google Play)
Keyword list (App Store) and Long Description (Google Play)
Visual assets such as screenshots, icon, video etc.
App listing localization
Number of downloads
Reviews and ratings
In-app purchases

Aside from the factors mentioned above, there are some hidden factors that are being considered. Regrettably, the app stores won’t openly tell you everything they consider when determining app ranking. However, the factors listed above should be a great place to start your research.

For SEO, there are a lot of ranking factors to consider. But for the purpose of this blog, let me just give you the most important ones:

Security and accessibility of the website
Page loading speed
Domain age, URL, and authority
Content validity and relevance
User experience
External links
Social signals
Keyword match
Image alt text

With billions of websites and thousands being added every day, it is not surprising that SEO is more complicated than ASO. There are just so many ranking factors being considered.

ASO vs SEO: Duration

Both ASO and SEO need to be done in a constant manner. It is not a one-time event, but instead, it should be done continuously.

When it comes to evaluating results, ASO does allow you to see results within a few weeks or months. However, SEO is more complicated and the competition is so intense that you get to see significant results after a year or so. Of course, this will also depend on how much time, energy, and effort you put into your ASO and SEO.

Summary of ASO and SEO Similarities

To give you a quick overview of the similarities of ASO and SEO, here’s a quick list:

1. ASO and SEO increase the visibility of products or services.
2. Both improve your app or website ranking in search results.
3. ASO and SEO aim to find quality traffic that can easily be converted into users or sales.
4. Strategies of ASO and SEO are based on keyword research.

Summary of ASO and SEO differences

Here’s a quick overview of the differences between ASO and SEO:

1. ASO is focused on app stores while SEO is focused on internet search engines.
2. You can do a soft launch with ASO, while you can’t do it in SEO.
3. ASO and SEO differ in key performance indicators and ranking factors.
4. Results for your ASO campaigns can be seen earlier compared to SEO.
5. Paid traffic can affect app ranking for ASO while it can’t affect website ranking for SEO.
6. Search terms for ASO are more specific compared to SEO.
7. App stores have a tendency to feature and favor new apps. In SEO, search engines would feature the 8. most relevant not the newest content.